Should I Use a Buyer’s Agent On a New Home in Buckeye?


 Thinking of Buying a

New Home construction in Buckeye

new home in Buckeye?

What most people don’t realize is that the builder’s sales agents, are all working for the builder, not you.  These sales people are not on your side.  They are not your friends.  They are sales agents of the builder


Think you’ll get a better deal if you go without an agent?  You’ll save the commission?  

The builder will not reduce his price for the commission whether you show up with or without an agent.


Why do you need a buyer’s agent?

Because you need someone on your side.  Someone who is watching out for you, the buyer, and your best interests. By having me as your advocate, I will make sure you get the best deal possible! And it will not cost you a penny!

For more information please contact me @ or call anytime at 623-271-0011.


Best Places to Live in Arizona

Recently, AreaVibes released a list of the top cities in Arizona that are the most desirable neighborhoods for livability, employment, education, housing, weather and more. Among the best places to live in Arizona include: Litchfield Park, Carefree, Gold Camp, Queen Creek and Gilbert.


Litchfield Park

Coming in at number 1 for the top cities in Arizona is Litchfield Park, with a livability score of 87. Litchfield Park, AZ has exceptional livability with many top amenities, low crime, high education, ideal employment and housing, great weather and a decent cost of living. With a population of over 5,000, and a median house value of $336,100, Litchfield Park is the perfect place to raise a family, with a 96 percent high school graduation rate and 80 percent lower crime than other Arizona cities.



Carefree is one of the best places to live in Arizona, with a great livability score of 86 as amenities are close and crime, education, employment, housing and weather are next to perfect. Although the cost of living is 28 percent higher than other cities in Arizona, crime rates are 84 percent lower than the Arizona average. With a median home value of $798,900, it’s the perfect place to raise a family.


Gold Camp

Gold Camp reigns number 3 for the top cities in Arizona due to its exceptional livability. Although local amenities are fewer, the city has almost perfect cost of living, crime, education, employment, housing and weather. With an average summer temperature of 91 degrees and a crime rate 67 percent lower than the Arizona average, Gold Camp is the perfect location for those who enjoy a wonderful community, great weather and security.


Queen Creek

Queen Creek is the ideal location for those looking for an area with a great cost of living, low crime, ideal employment, housing opportunities and exceptional weather. With a median home price of $319,600 and a population of 26,361, you’ll love the sunny and warm weather in Queen Creek. Many accommodations and amenities are located just a short drive away when residing in this city.



Rated number 5 as one of the best places to live in Arizona is Gilbert. With a growing population of over 208,453, this area maintains 49 percent lower crime than other cities in Arizona. The median household income in the area is just under $80,000 with the median home value resting at $298,400– offering perfect housing and employment.


If you’re looking for one of the top cities to live in, look no further. The best places to live can be found right here in Arizona!

Is Home Ownership Losing Its Appeal?

Despite the low interest rates as home prices continue to fluctuate and the state of labor markets, many people just aren’t interested in purchasing a home right now. According to Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed loan rates fell below 4 percent for the first time, but many Americans remain hesitant to consider owning a home as economic times remain tough.


“We’ve been renting because it’s affordable,” says Ms. Caswell, an executive assistant at an ambulance company. “We’re like the rest of the country, living paycheck to paycheck. The majority of the time, we just feel like we are playing catch-up.”

With the state of the real estate market over the past few years, many are wondering if home ownership is losing its appeal? According to the Census Bureau, the rate of home ownership fell over the last decade by the largest decrease since the Great Depression. However, even with the decline, the number of Americans who own their homes remains the second highest on record. With these contradictory results, is owning a home still appealing? Are Americans still attracted to the benefits of owning a home?


“People’s perceptions of likely future home prices have been altered in a negative fashion,” says Thomas Lawler, an independent housing economist in Leesburg, Va. “People buy a home not just to live in but because it’s an investment. Combine that with a lousy economy and it becomes a lot harder in today’s world to qualify for a mortgage to buy a home than to qualify to rent one for the next year.”



Unfortunately, cases like Ms. Caswell’s aren’t unique, which is why the rate of home ownership may have declined by 65 percent from 2000 to 2010. This doesn’t necessarily mean the American Dream has disappeared. Some areas of the Nation have high rates of home ownership, such as in Sumter County, Fla.


Although many Americans don’t see the benefits of home ownership at the present time, there are still many who are in the market to purchase a home due to the low interest rates, large inventory and discounted home prices. In fact, a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors involving 1,209 adults indicates 77 percent say purchasing a home is a good financial decision.


Where do you stand on the benefits of home ownership? Is owning a home losing its appeal?



Is now the time to purchase an investment property?

As home prices and interest rates are the lowest in years, many property investors are wondering if now is the time to purchase an investment property? According to the experts, now is the perfect time to purchase investment properties. Purchasing an investment property right now is ideal because, not only are home prices and interest rates low, but there are a surplus of houses to choose from. As the real-estate market begins to recover, rental property experts recommend you act fast to purchase your investment property before home prices and interest rates begin to climb.


“We haven’t seen home prices this low in so many years, coupled with the rates being so low,” says Jill Sjolin, an agent with Windermere Real Estate in Woodinville, Wash., specializing in investment properties. “When the money is cheap to borrow and the houses are cheap to buy, it’s absolutely the best time to invest.”


Investment properties are extremely attractive as there are many distressed sellers who are selling their homes at deeply discounted prices. With a wide selection of homes for sale and foreclosures, it’s a buyers market. The historically low financing costs, combined with the abundance of low priced houses offer the perfect opportunity to buy that investment property you’ve been wanting.


Although, no one can say for sure whether or not the real-estate market is fully recovering, it has bottomed-out. While home prices and interest rates continue to fluctuate, it’s certain rates will never be this low again in the near future. By purchasing your investment property now, when the market does recover, you could quite possibly be sitting on a huge profit.


As J. Paul Getty said, “Buy when everyone else is selling and hold when everyone else is buying.”


Even as the current time is considered to be a buyer’s market, there’s still little competition as there are an abundance of properties to choose from. By purchasing an investment property now, you’ll stay ahead of the competition as the demand for homes has yet to spike.


When purchasing investment properties, be prepared as you’re going to be competing with like-minded people looking for speedy wins. Therefore, be patient. If you don’t find what you’re looking for right away, the perfect investment property is out there. Stay focused on your targeted property and don’t compromise with a distressed property.


If you’re interested in learning more about purchasing an investment property, contact Steven Larson.


What are short sales?

When a homeowner struggles with financial difficulties and is no long able to afford their mortgage payments, they often face foreclosure. Foreclosure destroys credit and often causes a homeowner embarrassment as their home is stripped away. When facing bankruptcy or foreclosure, there may be another option– short sales. A short sale in real estate may save the homeowner from going through a foreclosure, but it isn’t always a pleasant event.


What are short sales?

A short sale is an opportunity some homeowners use when the lenders they have borrowed from provide an option of selling their home to a third party, which is usually the lender. The home is sold at a significantly lower price than what is still owed on the home loan. When a homeowner wants to avoid foreclosure, the approval from the lender to short sale allows the opportunity to sell their home at a very low rate, which may not be the best option when compared to foreclosure.


A short sale in real estate is often complex, and there are a few reasons why a lender may be willing to approve a short sale. The main reason a lender approves a short sale is because it will cost less than a home foreclosure. Short sales allow lenders to recover at least part of what they would end up losing should the home fall into foreclosure.


There are a couple of different options that are often offered when a short sale is obtainable– a deficiency judgment and a payment in full without pursuit of deficiency judgment. With a deficiency judgment, the homeowner remains liable to pay the difference between the short sale and the balance of their mortgage loan. The deficiency judgment will remain on the homeowner’s credit report until the remaining balance has been paid, which often takes many years.


A payment in full without pursuit of deficiency judgment is the most popular choice as the homeowner isn’t required to pay any money after the short sale. They can walk away obligation free upon short selling their home.


Although a short sale in real estate may seem like the easy way out when facing foreclosure, there are certain drawbacks to short sales and it may not be the best option for everyone. If you’d like more information about the benefits and risks of a short sale, contact Steven Larson today.

Life in Phoenix, Arizona Information

Life in Phoenix, Arizona offers great weather year round, a vibrant community and the top accommodations all in one place. The Phoenix Metropolitan area consists of several cities, including Glendale, Tempe, Buckeye, Mesa, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Sun City and many more– all within Maricopa County. As the Nation’s second fastest growing state, with more than 4.2 million people, there’s amble opportunities offered when living in Phoenix.


Life in Phoenix is full of things to do as the area covers nearly 1,000 square miles. With more than 180 private and public golf courses, 67 man-made and natural lakes, the Desert Botanical Garden, the Arizona Opera Company and more than 30 museums, there’s always something to do when living in Phoenix.


If you’re considering residing in the Phoenix Metro area, there are an abundance of housing options. As of 2011, the median new home price in the Phoenix Metro area was $225,000, with a median resale home price of $103,000. The average home in the Phoenix Metro area sells for $143,358 as of 2011.


Not only is Phoenix, Arizona home to affordable housing, but a wonderful lifestyle due to the exceptional weather and the availability and quality of arts and culture– ranking 5th in the Nation. With an average rainfall of less than 8 inches annually and more than 300 sunny days per year, whether you’re working, playing or living in Phoenix, it’s the ideal place to be.


The Phoenix Metro area is also home to several professional sports teams, including the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes and the Phoenix Suns. Seven Major League Baseball Teams hold their Spring training in Phoenix, Arizona too, including the San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs.


Extending over 80 miles east to west and 40 miles north to south, there’s a variety of nature surrounding every area of Phoenix Metro, each offering adventure. Life in Phoenix is full of wonder and natural beauty as there are numerous mountains, plains, lakes and rivers for you to explore while living in Phoenix.


No matter where you choose to live in Phoenix Metro– Buckeye, Avondale, Gilbert, Mesa, Surprise, Paradise Valley and more– you’ll love the community and lifestyle the area has to offer.


To learn more about residing in one of the Phoenix Metro areas, give Steven Larson a call to discuss your options.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

In 1974, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was passed to protect consumers from unnecessary cost increases for settlement services, as well as to promote the shopping experience when using these services. The act covers loans that have been secured with a mortgage for one to four family residential properties, which is enforced by the Interstate Land Sales and HUD’s Office of RESPA. Most often, this includes loans, refinances, assumptions, property investment loans, and equality lines of credit.


The act requires borrows to receive disclosures at various times, such as the costs associated with the settlement. It may also include the lender servicing, escrow account practices and business relationships between settlement service providers. It also limits certain practices that will increase the cost of settlement services, such as requiring home buyers from purchasing title insurance from a particular company.


The disclosures are required at various times throughout the buying process, such as at the time of the loan application, before closing occurs and after the settlement. During the loan application process, the act requires mortgage brokers or lenders to provide borrowers with a Special Information Booklet, a Good Faith Estimate of settlement costs and a Mortgage Servicing Disclosure Statement.


Prior to closing, an Affiliated Business Arrangement Disclosure (AfBA) is required if a settlement service provider involved a RESPA covered transaction, referring the customer to a provider when an ownership or other beneficial interest is involved. The HUD-1 Settlement Statement may also be provided, which outlines all modifications involving the borrowers and sellers connection with the statement.


During the time of settlement, the HUD-1 Settlement Statement is provided to show settlement costs of the loan transaction, which can be provided on separate forms for the seller and borrower. The Initial Escrow Settlement is also provided to itemize the estimated taxes, insurance premiums and other changes that may have to be paid from the Escrow Account during the first twelve months of the loan.


After the settlement, the loan services must provide borrows with the Annual Escrow Statement each year to summarize the escrow account, including deposits and payments. It’s used to notify borrowers of any shortages or surplus of the account, as well as any action that needs to be taken,. Should the loan service sell or assign the servicing rights of the borrower’s loan to another service, a Servicing Transfer Statement is required.


For the full RESPA or for more information, visit U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Understanding Your Rights as a Landlord

As a landlord in Arizona, you have certain rights and obligations, just as tenants have tenant rights and regulations. The Arizona Landlord Rights are in place to allow you to evict bad tenants and help you recover from losses due to renting a residential property.


Rights and Regulations of Landlords

As a landlord in Arizona, you have the right to collect and receive your rent in a timely manor. You can also set in place reasonable and explicit rules and regulations to be abided by the tenants. Unless your property is in an age restricted subdivision, you must rent to families with children. You also can’t deny a tenant based on race, sex or disability. As included in the Arizona landlord rights, you may withhold a portion or all of a security deposit if damage has occurred, but you must provide the tenant written itemizations of any damage costs. Unless you state in writing, all deposits are refundable.


If you’re renting for 12 months or less, you don’t need a written rental agreement; however, if renting for longer than 12 months, you and the tenant will need written and signed rental agreements. If there’s no set length for the rental agreement, the agreement will be based on a month-to-month agreement, which is due on the first day of each month. Only with a month-to-month agreement and at the end of any previous agreements may you raise the rent.


Your obligations as a landlord involve providing a clean, safe and habitable residence with everything in working order, including running water and heating and cooling units. The residence must also have gas or electrical utilities.


Only on the basis of an emergency can you enter the tenant’s property without permission. If you’re going to make repairs, alterations, conduct inspections or maintenance, you must provide the tenant with at least two days advance notice prior to entering the property.


You have the right to enforce the rules and regulations involving your rental property, and if you should happen to change a rule or regulation, 30 days notice is needed for existing tenants. As a landlord, you maintain the right to require your tenants to act in a way that doesn’t cause disruptions to the neighborhood.


There are times when rental agreements don’t work out and you or the tenant may want to end the renting relationship. Included in your rights as a landlord, there are certain times you may end the agreement, as well as time a tenant can end the agreement if you haven’t met your obligations as a landlord. You can learn more about ending rental relationships and your rights as a landlord from the Arizona Department of Housing.

What are the Advantages of a Short Sale?

When facing foreclosure, a short sale is often the best option, which does have a few advantages. If you owe more on your home than it’s worth and you really can’t wait for your property value to rise, the benefits of a short sale may just be what you need to recover from your financial burden. The advantages of a short sale include a shorter wait time, possibly less damage to your credit score and protecting your psychological comfort.


When you choose to short sale, you may be able to buy another home even though the information remains available to creditors for up to seven years. The short sale will appear on your credit report as a debt that was discharged, but hasn’t been paid in full. As a result, you’re more likely to qualify for a new home sooner than if your home was foreclosed. For example, Fannie Mae regulations state you can become eligible for a home purchase after only 2 years, when compared to 5 years that occurs with a foreclosure. Plus, lenders are more favorable to those who have gone through a short sale instead of a foreclosure. One short sale advantage is that is shows you at least made an effort to pay off the debt instead of giving up. A short sale gives you a little more credibility.


You will also be more likely to buy a home sooner after a short sale as there’s possibly less damage to your credit score. Although there’s debate about the subject, your credit score will be based on your history of timely payments, so try to stay current on your mortgage until after the short sale. If you miss payments or are late, it will certainly drive down your credit score.


Trying to remain current with your payments when facing the loss of your home is hard. The loss of your home carries a high level of moral and social stigma, which may influence your happiness. However, a short sale can provide you with a little more satisfaction as you didn’t just walk away from your financial responsibility.


A short sale isn’t easy, no matter how many benefits of a short sale you might receive. When facing the loss of your home, you need to consider all of your options, including the advantages of a short sale. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of a short sale, contact Steve Larson today.

Understanding your Tenant Rights in Arizona

Under the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Art, you’re entitled to certain rights when renting in Arizona. You’re also responsible to follow guidelines and regulations in order to comply with the Arizona tenant rights, just as landlords must abide. The rights and obligations for both landlords and tenants are in place to protect both parties. For example, you can’t be denied renting a property based on your age, race or the fact you have children unless the residence is located in an age restricted community.

Tenant Rights in Arizona
When you’ve rented a property, you have the duty to pay your rent on time or the landlord has the right to take eviction action. You can’t withhold rent due to a disagreement or broken oral promise with the landlord. To further protect your tenant rights in Arizona, keep copies of all of your payments and notice exchanges with your landlord, including signatures and dates.

As a tenant, you must follow certain tenant obligations, such as keeping the residence safe and clean. You must also properly remove and dispose of trash and keep all plumbing fixtures clean. You must use all electrical appliances, air-conditioning and heating systems and plumbing in a safe and responsible manor. You can not deliberately damage the property, and you must follow any other obligations and requirements set by the landlord.

Your landlord is required to keep the residence safe with utilities, including electric and water. The landlord must repair any safety hazards in a timely manor, such as heating and cooling problems. However, in order to enter the premises, you must be given at least 2 days notice, unless it’s an emergency.

The security deposit you provide can be returned to you upon relocating, but if any repairs need to be made based on the move-out inspection, the landlord can withhold the security deposit if an itemized list of repairs is provided. The security deposit or the remainder of the deposit after repairs must be paid to the tenant no later than 14 days after vacating the property.

The Arizona Tenant Rights also includes eviction procedures, noncompliance by landlord protection, lease provisions and more. To learn more about your tenant rights in Arizona, visit